Real-world Applications: Disrupting with Data

Location: Strata OLC May Level:

Data is ubiquitous and people are quickly realizing the benefits of capturing and analyzing it to build systems and drive feature growth. Many startups have unique constraints, in that they have a lot of data flowing through their system, limited resources, a diversity of technical talent, and engineers willing to build from the ground up. Foursquare in particular has a very unique dataset which contains the check-ins of close to 10 milllion users and over 600,000,000 check-ins. This talk will cover many of the challenges foursquare has met along the road toward housing, analyzing, and leveraging the data that our community is producing. It will go into some of the specific choices we made and some of the reasons why we chose various technologies. Finally, an overview of some of the technical and scientific aspects of one of our new features will be given as a case study into how we have successfully recycled users’ data to create an online discovery system.

Photo of Justin Moore

Justin Moore


Justin is a member of the Entities team at Facebook where he helps curate and build from their rich structured object and social graphs, with a focus on location. Before joining Facebook, Justin ran the Data team at foursquare. In addition to building their core data-driven products Explore and Radar, he built a team from the ground up that consisted of Engineers and Data Scientists to solve large scale data problems as foursquare’s dataset grew from half a million check-ins to over 1.5 billion. Before that, Justin worked at a hedge fund as a quantitative analyst, building custom portfolios for their asset management division and doing modeling and analysis for their risk team, specializing in high-frequency, derivatives, and commodities trading. Prior to that, he worked for Bear Stearns as a Vice-President in their fixed income analyst group, building applications and models to help value agency pass-thru securities and building loan-level pricing applications and models. Justin holds a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Rochester and has studied graduate-level Math and Computer Science at Columbia University. He is constantly chasing the biggest and most interesting datasets and trying to make amazing things happen with them.

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David Wells
05/19/2011 11:36am PDT

Your bio mentions that you worked on modeling at a hedge fund. Can you talk about how the modeling work you specifically worked on there differs from the work you do at foursquare?